This recipe works with red beets, too, but golden beets are less likely to stain your fingers or your apron. Recipe excerpted from The All New Ball® Book of Canning and Preserving, published by Oxmoor House (2016).
You will need
4 lb. (2 kg) (3-inch/7.5-cm- diameter) golden beets
2 ½ cups (625 mL) white vinegar (5% acidity)
1 ¼ cups (300 mL) water
1 ¼ cups (300 mL) sugar
1 tsp. (5 mL) Ball® Salt for Pickling & Preserving
8 whole cloves
1 (3-inch/7.5-cm) cinnamon stick
2 (2- to 2 ½ inch/5- to 6-cm-diameter) onions, thinly sliced
Trim beets, leaving 1 inch (2.5 cm) of stem, and scrub. Bring beets to a boil in water to cover in a large saucepan; reduce heat, and simmer 25 to 30 minutes or until tender. Drain, rinse, and cool slightly. Trim off roots and stems; peel beets. Cut beets in half vertically; cut halves crosswise into ¼-inch (0.5 cm)-thick slices to measure 6 cups (1.5 L).
Stir together vinegar and next 5 ingredients in a 6-qt. (6-L) stainless steel or enameled Dutch oven. Bring mixture to a boil. Add beets and onion; reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Remove and discard spices.
Pack beets and onion into a hot jar with a slotted spoon, leaving ½-inch (1-cm) headspace. Ladle hot pickling liquid over beet mixture, leaving ½-inch (1-cm) headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe jar rim. Center lid on jar. Apply band, and adjust to fingertip-tight. Place jar in boiling-water canner. Repeat until all jars are filled.
Process jars 30 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Turn off heat; remove lid, and let jars stand 5 minutes. Remove jars and cool.